Auckland Tower shortlisted for award

18 February 2019, 12:27 | Updated: 18 February 2019, 12:32

Auckland Tower

Auckland Tower, in Bishop Auckland, is in the running to pick up an award in the excellence in planning for the heritage and culture category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

Durham County Council submitted the application to the RTPI, on behalf of the Brighter Bishop Auckland Partnership Board, in recognition of the collaborative partnership that helped make Auckland Tower possible.

The 29-metre high building, created as the welcome centre for The Auckland Project visitor destination, opened to the public last year. 

To help make it a reality, the council brought together officers from development management, regeneration, design and conservation, landscape design and strategic traffic, to work alongside The Auckland Project and its design team from Niall McLaughlin Architects, as well as Historic England.  

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “As part of our plans to rejuvenate Bishop Auckland town centre we needed to make the most of the area’s fascinating heritage and enhance the visitor experience, which is exactly what The Auckland Project’s new welcome centre does. Auckland Tower is helping the town to further become a cultural tourist destination for local and international visitors.”

The chair of the partnership board and the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, added: “The Auckland Tower is a wonderful addition to the Bishop Auckland skyline. Its views are terrific and the first floor is exquisite. It is a thoroughly worthy nominee for this prize.”

Chris Blacklock, property director at The Auckland Project, said:  “Auckland Tower would not have been possible without the realignment of Bishop Auckland Market Place, which was funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and delivered by Durham County Council.  It is fantastic to see this partnership working now being recognised in the RTPI shortlist.”  

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony held at Milton Court Concert Hall in central London on Wednesday, April 24th.